Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Meat)

Beef Stew with Herbs Recipe

(Thit Bo Kho)

The Vietnamese prize for this dish for breakfast, and on chilly mornings people queue up for a steaming bowl of thit bo kho on their way to work. In southern Vietnam, it is often served with chunks of baguette, but in the other regions it is served with noodles. For the midday or evening meal, it is serves with steamed or sticky rice. Traditionally, it has and orange hue from the oil in which annatto seeds have been fried, but here the color comes from turmeric

Ingredients : Serves 4-6

500 g

10-15 ml

30 ml


3 cloves


2 stalks

15 ml


700 ml

45 ml

30 ml

15 ml

1 bunch

1/4 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon


1 sprig

Lean beef, cut into bite-size cubes

Ground turmeric

Sesame or vegetable oil

Shallots, chopped

Garlic, chopped

Red chilies, seeded and chopped

Lemon grass, cut into several pieces and bruised

Curry powder

Star anise, roasted and ground to a powder

Hot beef or chicken stock, or boiling water

Nuoc mam

Soy sauce

Raw cane sugar

Fresh basil, stalks removed


Ground black pepper

Onion, halved and finely sliced

Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, for garnishing

Method :
  • Toss the beef in the ground turmeric and set aside. Heat a wok or heavy pan and add the oil.

  • Stir in the shallots, garlic, chilies and lemon grass. Cook until they become fragrant.

  • Add the curry powder and all but 10 ml of the roasted star anise, followed by the beef.

  • Brown the beef a little, then pout in the stock or water, the nuoc mam, soy sauce and sugar.

  • Stir well and bring the liquid to the boil.

  • Reduce the heat and cook gently for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the liquid had reduced.

  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in the reserved roasted star anise, and add the basil.

  • Transfer the stew to a serving dish and garnish with the sliced onion and coriander leaves.

More Meat Recipes